The psychic readiness for destruction among contemporary adolescents

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Abstract

Aims and objectives

To verify the existence of psychic readiness for destruction among adolescent girls and to determine how psychic readiness for destruction is related to suicidal or violent behaviour in adolescence.

Background

The psychic readiness for destruction can be treated as a generalised tendency (personality disposition) to behave in a way that increases the probability of negative consequences which directly and indirectly threaten one's life, health and its quality.

Design

A retrospective cross-sectional study.

Methods

The study involved 140 participants, aged 13–17, including 40 girls after suicide attempts (GS group), 40 girls using violence against others (GA group) and 60 girls without destructive behaviour at all (CG group). To measure psychic readiness for destruction, the polish adaptation of the Chronic Self-Destructiveness Scale (CS-DS) by Kelly was used.

Results

No significant differences were found between the GS group and GA group. A significant difference was found between the girls who engage in interpersonal violence (GA) and the control group (CG). In this case, the results showed a significantly higher score among those participants who were involved in extremely aggressive behaviours. A similar trend was also observed when comparing the group of girls who attempted suicide (GS) with the CG.

Conclusions

Based on the conducted analyses, a clear trend was observed in consistency of destructive behaviours (tendency for destruction)—both active (seeking to violate norms, risky behaviours) and passive (omission, neglect) among the girls from both groups indicating even a single act of this kind (no significant differences between the groups).

Relevance to clinical practice

Due to the complex nature of readiness for destruction and its negative consequences on health, it is imperative to investigate the risk factors for the tendency for destruction and to conduct health education among adolescents.

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